Hospital group expands 24/7 telepharmacy services
April 5, 2023
DEEP RIVER, Ont. – A group of Ontario hospitals on the same instance of Cerner are moving forward with expanded telepharmacy services provided by NTS Virtual Solutions through a contract with HealthPRO, Canada’s group contracting provider for healthcare. NTS, more commonly known as North West Telepharmacy Solutions, ensures pharmacist medication review services are available around the clock.
Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and Almonte General Hospital will be joining South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, which are already using NTS telepharmacy services.
“Utilizing Northwest Telepharmacy during overnight hours enables our hospital to ensure trusted 24/7 medication management service, with the added flexibility of assigning our onsite pharmaceutical resources to peak periods during the day and evening,” said Kate Smith (pictured), director, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services at Orillia Solders’ Memorial Hospital. “It’s a win for everyone involved.”
“We are looking forward to bringing our leading-edge telepharmacy services to this group of Cerner hospitals,” said Kevin McDonald, director of NTS Virtual Health Solutions. “Through telepharmacy, we can now ensure every new medication ordered is clinically reviewed by a pharmacist, mostly before being administered to the patient, in order to meet the updated Accreditation Canada standards.”
As recent as 2022, Accreditation Canada updated their Medication Management Standards which now require all new medication orders to be reviewed by a pharmacist for accuracy and clinical appropriateness prior to the first dose being administered to the patient.
Both South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare have been longstanding NTS clients, recognizing early on their need for weekday and weekend support, with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare now receiving after-hours services starting April 1, 2023.
“In the Pharmacy sector, having a company like Northwest to rely on for our Telepharmacy needs, has helped us during these uncertain times in healthcare,” said Susan Garagan, manager of Pharmacy & Oncology/Ambulatory Services at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. “Having the remote pharmacists allowed our on-site pharmacists to focus on direct patient care, and items such as Accreditation, and Ontario College of Pharmacy standards. Northwest helped us achieve these high standards.”
All four hospitals have leveraged the national HealthPRO telepharmacy contract to implement these services in a shared model resulting in an efficient clinical coverage solution that meets the patient needs.
These sites have also benefitted from PowerGridRx – a medication management solution utilized by NTS.
“Incorporating PowerGridRx into the pharmacy workflow ensures the medication management process is done efficiently,” said Sammu Dhaliwall, senior manager of Business Development of NTS. “Using a central queue for reviewing medication orders while sharing the NTS pharmacist resource helps keep costs down for the hospitals.”
“HealthPRO is proud to connect our member hospitals with this important service through our Telepharmacy contract,” said Patricia Macgregor, clinical director, HealthPRO. “Supporting this group to achieve enhanced patient care and safety, as well as extended support for nursing and medical staff through continuous pharmacy services is very rewarding.”
NTS Virtual Health Solutions is Canada’s leading telepharmacy provider of remote hospital pharmacist services, working with over 90 hospitals across Canada. They include hospitals utilizing EPIC, Cerner and Meditech Expanse. In 2022, NTS pharmacists entered or verified over 1.8 million medication orders and were involved in over 230,000 interventions, many of which have prevented adverse events to patients.